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HCC commission reveals final recommendations

The Commission on the Future of Hagerstown Community College, which began its work in September 2010, held its final meeting to announce 17 recommendations and highlight priority areas for college officials to consider as they develop the college’s Strategic Plan 2016. The 30-member commission was comprised of four study groups of community leaders, college faculty, administrators, students, staff, and alumni.

Although all of the recommendations are important for the college’s future, the highest priorities identified were as follows: (1) continue collaborating with the public and private high schools and working toward the implementation of greater curricular agreements to assure college readiness; (2) maintain affordable tuition, fees, and college expenses; (3) continue efforts to seek public and private competitive grants to support institutional priorities and strategic goals; (4) continue collaborative efforts with county and state representatives to secure and protect the fair share of funding for HCC;  and (5) maintain adequate technology investments needed for student and staff success.

“This type of community input is critical to the success of the college and the community,” said Guy Altieri, HCC president. “We were extremely fortunate to have a solid group of community leaders who devoted countless hours of their time to thoroughly review and make recommendations regarding future offerings and operations of the college. As a result, our students and the community-at-large will greatly benefit from the work of this group.”

The groups focused on all areas of HCC and included (1) Students and Student Affairs; (2) Programs and Educational Support; (3) Finances, Facilities, Human Resources and Technology Support; and (4) Effectiveness and Quality Assurance. With the use of a survey tool, community leaders throughout Washington County and the surrounding area, as well as HCC graduates, provided valuable input regarding the future of HCC.

Commission findings, as well as survey results, indicate that the community feels that HCC does a very good job in meeting community and employer needs. Overall, it is recommended that HCC needs to better promote and market its credit and credit-free program offerings, its affordability, and the success of students, graduates and employees. The commission’s recommendations will be used in the development of HCC’s 2016 Strategic Plan, the self-study for its Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools reaccreditation, and annual institutional plans.  
               
Carolyn Brooks, immediate past chair of the HCC Board of Trustees and current board member, and John League, editor and publisher of The Herald-Mail served as the co-chairs of the commission.
               
The Student and Student Affairs Study Group was co-chaired by Donna Rudy, HCC dean of student affairs, and David Engle, director of the Washington County Department of Social Services. Group members included Sila Bartel, representing the Hispanic community; Leon Brumback, HCC Foundation; Maureen Grove, Girls Inc.; Joan Johnson, HCC faculty; Carol Kreykenbohm-Barnhart, Washington County Public Schools; and John Little, HCC’s Student Government Association.
               
The Programs and Educational Support Study Group was co-chaired by Judith Oleks, HCC vice president of academic affairs, and Cassandra Latimer, director of public affairs and communications at Citicorp. Group members included Donna Hanlin, WCPS; Joe Kroboth, Washington County government; Rebecca Massie Lane, Washington County Museum of Fine Arts; Sean Maher, HCC faculty; Dori Nipps, Pen-Mar Development Corporation; Theresa Shank, dean of HCC’s Continuing Education and Community Services Division; and Maggie Stone, HCC SGA.
               
The Finances, Facilities, Human Resources, and Technology Support Study Group was co-chaired by Anna Barker, HCC vice president of administration and finance, and Tom Newcomer, president of R. Bruce Carson. Group members included Sam Cool, Planet Technologies; John Itell, Albright, Crumbacker, Moul & Itell; Phil Kelly, Millennium 3 Energy; Joe Marschner, HCC faculty; Matthew Vich, HCC SGA; and Jim Ward, D.M. Bowman.

The Effectiveness and Quality Assurance Study Group was co-chaired by Barbara Macht, HCC dean of planning and institutional effectiveness, and Earl Stoner, Washington County health officer. Group members included Dale Bannon, WCPS; Tracy Barlup, Longmeadow Animal Hospital; Mary Anne Burke, Washington County Arts Council; Rebecca Lake, HCC SGA; Kathy Maher, Hagerstown government; and Tony Valente, HCC faculty.

The 17 recommendations, as well as the full report of the CFHCC, are available at www.hagerstowncc.edu/cfhcc, or by contacting Beth Stull at 301-790-2800, ext. 265.